M’s Help Fans Split Season Tickets

Dave · November 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners have announced a new feature that facilitates the splitting of season tickets across multiple owners. This is something that people have been doing on their own forever, but the organization has decided to step in and use their site as a central hub to connect buyers and sellers.

This is a small thing – the kind of gesture that is often waived off by fans with a comment about the M’s just attempting to maximize profit or just looking out for their bottom line. But, to me, it is the continuation of an organizational change that has been pretty remarkable. It is a pro-fan approach that simply hasn’t existed in years past. The Mariners, as an organization, have worked hard (and are continuing to do so) to re-establish some trust with their fan base. And I think it’s time they got some credit for it.

Over the last year, I’ve had a decent amount of interactions with a wide spectrum of people in the organization. From organizing the library event last winter and the Safeco event in August, I’ve had the opportunity to deal with a variety of team officials. And, to a person, they’ve all been great in a way that you simply wouldn’t expect. After all, we spent about five years lambasting the organization at almost every turn, and I don’t think its an exaggeration to say that there was some hostility on both sides towards the others. We were fans of the team, but not of the organization, and they weren’t big fans of us either. There were times when it became clear that rooting for the team to fail was our best option, because things weren’t getting better without hitting rock bottom.

They hit rock bottom in 2008. And things have gotten significantly better since then, and not just in the decision making that goes into putting the roster together. When Derek raised the issue about the bus shuttle law, Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong put us in touch with Bart Waldman, the team’s general counsel, who offered assistance in understanding their perspective on the issue. When I invited Jack Zduriencik to the library event last winter and he couldn’t make it due to a scheduling conflict, he sent his top four guys in his place. When I talked to the M’s about hosting an event at Safeco, they gave us everything we asked for and tossed in free food for 300 people.

It doesn’t matter who I dealt with – they were all really great, and continue to be whenever I get in touch with them. This is not how it used to be.

I’ve always loved the team. It is nice to now be able to love the organization as well.

Kudus to the M’s for yet another fan friendly project, the latest in a move towards developing a mutual respect with their fans.


11 Responses to “M’s Help Fans Split Season Tickets”

  1. Carson on November 13th, 2009 12:57 pm

    It’s small things, too, that make a difference. Like the free popcorn, Cracker Jacks, and peanuts they tossed in for us at the last shindig.

    They are truly making it seem like they care about us, and want to make things better/easier for fans to enjoy the M’s. Which is awesome.

    Also – best of wishes to John Wetteland. Hope he feels better soon.

  2. dawsonct on November 13th, 2009 12:59 pm

    This is a damned good idea. I WISH I could attend 81 home games each year, but I’m certain that I am not the only one out their who will be much more likely to make a smaller commitment of their time and money.

    I agree with your assessment Dave, the M’s DO seem to have become a bit more “fan aware” the last few years.

  3. Carson on November 13th, 2009 1:08 pm

    And, my brain totally passed over the part of the post where you mentioned the free food. Apologies, but nonetheless, it was a great gesture that they didn’t need to do.

  4. nickwest1976 on November 13th, 2009 1:11 pm

    Not only is this a good gesture, it’s good business.

    I bet they will get an increase in season tickets because now people that were once feeling that buying 81 games or even a 20 game season pack impossible can now officially share the cost/commitment with other people.

    I have Husky season tickets for football and sell about 3-4 games per year and it can be a lot of work and sometimes you don’t sell them. This kind of system takes all that mess away and I think the M’s will see some positive results with increases in season ticket sales.

    I know I will be talking to friends and family to try and make this kind of idea work.

  5. MEC on November 13th, 2009 1:41 pm

    Let’s hope that the organization responsible for ejecting same-sex couples and making people turn their “Yankees Suck” t-shirts inside-out has seen the light socially as well.

    It’s one thing to increase their appeal to “fans” (and as you acknowledged, they had to hit rock bottom to do so) and quite another to resist the temptation to be moral stewards.

    I also hope they no longer work so hard to forcefully herd people out the doors after a game.

  6. EnglishMariner on November 13th, 2009 1:58 pm

    It may be a small thing, but I bet the guys from the organisation reading this will feel quite proud – and deservedly so. They have done a terrific job this year.

  7. kenarneson on November 13th, 2009 2:31 pm

    A good friend of mine developed this service. He wanted to hire me to write the code a couple years ago, but I had other obligations. I did make a few suggestions, though.

  8. Breadbaker on November 13th, 2009 3:58 pm

    We gave up season tickets we shared from 2000-2003 after two of the other families involved dropped out. We probably would have kept them for a couple years more (until our son went to college) if this service were in place. Good business, good attitude toward the reality of the fan base.

    The hope is that if the team gets popular again, this stuff stays in place nonetheless. That’s the real test.

  9. wabbles on November 13th, 2009 4:20 pm

    Yes, kudos to the M’s for the season ticket change. It seems very similar to what MLB did after the 1994-95 strike. Outfielders began tossing the baseball up into the stands after the inning’s last out. They NEVER did that before; they practically wrestled the ball from some fans on close calls. MAYBE they would throw back one that a fan missed or dropped. Now they just throw the ball into the stands routinely. That’s another example of a small but significant change in attitude. It’s very heartening to see.

  10. scott19 on November 13th, 2009 8:52 pm

    As much as some of us (myself included) like to understandably bash on the Angels here, Artie Moreno — much to his credit — has done a number of things to improve fan relations in Anaheim since the Disney years — such as the Friday night fireworks shows, for example.

    Sometimes, even the little gestures from management go a long way toward improving rapport with fans, and in turn, earning back their trust.

  11. cjones on November 16th, 2009 10:35 am

    Thank YOU, Dave, for giving some visibility to aspects of this that I would not otherwise see. It truly sounds like the organization has a different attitude to their customers, us, and that feels good.

    Somehow, this will make the winning seem a little sweeter when it comes…

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